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Entered according to Act of the Parliament of CAnada, in the year one thousand 
nine hundred and four, by H. ISABEL GRAHAM, at the Department of Agriculture 

SONG of December ! 

sing you a song 

■? / V 1 Of the days dull and transient, the nights cold and long ; 

When the hills and the valleys are covered with snow, 
And the blazing log burns with a clear, steady glow ; 

When grim, ghostly shadows creep over the wall, 

And the time- honored mistletoe hangs in the hall. 

' December 

The summer is fervid, entrancing and gay. 

But rose-wreaths soon wither and flowers fade away. 
The dreams so delightful, the twilights of June 
Soon pass; like the sound of some rythmical rune. 

Frost sears the green leaves, but the lustrous sheen 
Of the holly will live through the winter 1 ween. 

' ' . v 

A song of December when feuds are forgot ; 

When far-sundered spirits commingle in thought ; 

When heart touches heart and the warmth of a hand 
Makes the whole of our being and outlook expand ; 

When the Spirit of Love brooding over the deep 
Awakens our souls from their sound, selfish sleep. 

A song of December ! a song of our King, 

Who came to this world such good tidings to bring, 

A song of the yule-tide so happy and bright, 

A song of the passing year's lingering light ; 

A song of December ! my heart hears it singing 
When old friends remember and joy-bells are ringing 

Oh ! April is fair with the freshness of morn, 

A shy, smiling nymph neath the naked boughs born, 
The wild roving bee and the wind as they pass 
Stir the hyacinth bells and the low, tender grass. 

But December ingathers the wealth of the year 
in a big, fragrant bundle of peace and good cheer. 

A song of December I what month can compare : 

When the sleigh-bells fling music and mirth on the air, 

Anew the blood tingles and leaps in our veins 
As the skaters’ shout rings o'er the echoing plains ; 

Afar we would follow the moon's misty light 
Over white, frozen fields or down perilous height. 

TTJ HE guid fisher folk, wi' their quaint, hamely lore, 

| 19 Hae a saying— the like was not told me before- 
Sae sweet that it fa's on my soul like a shower 
On the wee, wilted face o’ some fair, fragile flower ; 
When the weight o' to-day or to-morrow I feel 
1 just con it o'er, 'Tis " Love lichtens the creel.” 

Love Lichtens the Creel 

" Love lichtens the creel ” when the burden is sain 
An' smooths frae the forehead the furrows o' care 
It sheds a bricht beam on the pathway o’ »<fe 
That softens the sorrow an' sweetens the strife . 

'Tis a minstrel that wanders this weary warld roun\ 
Giving laughter for tears an’ a smile for a frown. 

Love quickens the pace o' the lame, laggard feet. 

An' finds in stern duty a recompense sweet, 

It gies o' its best an' asks naething ava, 

A hut may haud heaven if love be the law ; 

A king weel micht covet the herd laddie's meal, 

Wi' its scant, simple fare if " Love lichtens the creel." 

” Love lichtens the creel ” — oh ! how joyfu the thocht 1 
When misfortune the shade o' oor sheilin' hes socht. 
When the wind blaws sae cauld an’ the blue o' the sky 
Is hid, when the song is exchanged for the sigh, 

Nae harm can befall us if lowly we kneel 
An lean on the Love that aye " Lichtens the creel." 

0 F stream and hamlet bards have sung 
And at their feet proud peans flung, 
But Memory in her temple still 
Enshrines the village on the hill. 

From gypsy camp the smoke upcurled 
Gives glimpses of a curious world, 
Down through the flats the caravans 
Jog on, while prisoned pots and pans 
Make mirthful music all the way, 

That mingles with the laughter gay ; 
Unloosed, their horses seek the stream 
And men and children lie and dream. 

Athwart a steeple slightly bent 
The sunbeams fall with kind intent. 

And goodly dwellings face the street 
Enclosed in gardens trim and neat. 

Full well I know where violets peep. 
And snow-drops waken from their sleep 
Where humming-birds build tiny nest 
Upon the lilac's snowy breast. 

Mark well yon turning to the right, 

For soon " God’s acre " comes in sight. 
Where many a saint from labor rests, 
Whose memory is supremely blest ; 
The road winds slowly round the plot 
As if to guard a holy spot. 

The broken thorn is bending Sow 
That hid the vestry long ago ; 

And most who heard the gospel sound 
Lie like the old kirk 'neath the ground. 
Time recks not, pastor, people too. 
Have passed the pearly portals through, 

I follow on as fancy guides 
And watch the river as it glides, 

A silver thread that scarce is seen 
At times among the sedges green. 

Then deepening, widening on its way 

Oft when the sun has sunk to rest. 

And day is dying in the west, 

1 clamber up a bonnie brae 
To see the landscape fade away 
In smiling meads and homesteads fair, 

A poem pastoral and rare. 

The sister town with shining towers 
Grows spectral in these twilight hours. 

Of stream and hamlet bards have sung 
And at their feet proud peans flung. 

But Memory in her temple still 

Near by the kirk behind the mill 
l hear the trickling of a rill ; 

A shady copse invites to rest 
Or gather nuts as pleaseth best. 

The smithy door stands open still. 

And men go in and out at will 
To spin a yarn or jocund jest 
Or tell which sermon was the best; 

The state, the kirk, the crops, the weather, 

They each in turn discuss together. 

It curves and shimmers like a bay- 

Enshrines the village on the hill. 

} TT? WAS a Sunday when I saw her 
® I s With her brown hair softly curled. 
And I thought she was the sweetest 
Little girl in all the world ; 

'Neath a tuscan trimmed with lilacs 
And deep folds of creamy lace, 

1 could see dark, upturned lashes. 

And a pretty, dimpled face. 

She was late, the church was crowded. 
But she moved along the aisle 
With a graceful ease of motion 
And a gentle, winning smile ; 

And the usher— Heaven bless him — 
Didn't know just what to do. 

Seats were full, and so he shewed her 
Right into our family pew 

The good rector talked in r a pture 
Of that home beyond the skies, 
But I'd found an earthly Eden 
In a pair of hazel eyes 
For I handed her a hymn book 
When the service first began 
Was Dan Cupd in the lilacs? 

Through my heart a quiver in 
As 1 touched her dainty fingers 
I’d seen maidens by the score 
Yet my soul had never waken ! 
To the thrill of love before 

But the lesson long is ended 
And my eyes with tears are dim, 

For the past comes stealing o'er me 
With the singing of that hymn. 

Still my bride is close beside me 
With the lilacs in her hair. 

In the happy, merry May-time 
All around was green and fair ; 

! can see the old trees tossing 
Snowy branches to the sky. 

How the shadows close around us 
As the day goes swiftly by. 

Ah ! their fragrance sets me dreaming, 
Till my hopes i>eat high again ; 

Till it lifts me to the city 

Where the sinless know no pain. 
For the godly rector entered 
That blest country years ago ; 

She is sleeping on the hillside 

Where the tall white lilacs grow. 

V,i HE songs of the people forever will last ; 

jji They bind, as with magic, the present and past, 

Like gens firmly fixed in the circlet of time, -rtf' 

Their radiance illumes each country and clime. 

In castle or cabin, wherever we roam, 

Fond memory reminds us, "There's no place like home " Jjj| 
Our fancy oft roves by the banks o' the Doon, 

On the braes wi' the wild rose that faded sae soon ; 

Where the birds sing sae blithely, the bright woodbines twine, 
There steals through the stillness the strains o’ " Lang Syne." 
We weep o'er the grave by the murmuring stream, 

‘Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream," 

Through death's desolation and darkness we feel 
A link and a light in " The Land o’ the Leal," 

And many a struggle and sorrowful sigh 
Is silenced to sleep "In the Sweet Bye-and-Bye" 

O fair " Annie Laurie " we'd fain get a view, 

An' bonnie Maxwellton, where first fa’s the dew. W 1 
" By the banks o' Loch Lomon " the singer would stray 
And sob out the sadness in "Auld Robin Gray." 

When the breath from the queens of the garden has flown 
"The Last Rose of Summer" stands blooming alone. 

Not a Scotchman but leaps with new fire to the fray 
At the name of Prince Charlie or wild Scots, Wha Hae 1 " 

Songs of the People 

T o the pilgrim afar on the feathery foam 
There rises the thought, Do they Miss me at Home ?’ 
\ " The Exile " still sighs for the Emerald shore. 

And the proud harp of T ara that waketh no more. 

Oft, " Oft in the Stilly Night" tarries he there 
By the lakes and the fells of " Killarney " so fair. 

The old darkey's banjo wakes throbbing with pain 
As his heart sadly turns " Down the Swanee " again. 

Once more he is roaming the cotton fields round 
And grieving for "Massa down in de cold ground." 

" I'se Gwine Back to Dixie," he whispers, some day. 

Where the orange blossoms grow. I must hasten away. 

The rose-covered cabin ne’er fades from his sight 
Where he said to his friends in Kentucky, good-night. 

The sweet shepherd psalm, as it floats o’er the hills. 

Still leads to green pastures and clear, peaceful rills. 

The rod and the staff and the promise ne’er fail 
T o strengthen the soul in the shadowy vale. 

We cling to the sure " Rock of Ages at last \ 

Till tempest and terror and peril are past 

There’s many a lay of sublime minstrelsy : th 

But the songs of the people are dearest to me. " 

T HERE knelt a monk in cloistered solitude, 

His reverent gaze fixed on the sacred rood. 
His attitude devout, his sou! aflame 
With noble impulse and a God-like aim, 

A great ambition — to be purged from dross 
And changed into the likeness of the cross — 

Had led him from the world's gay haunts away 
Where he could read and meditate and pray, 

His highest hope the blessed Christ to see 
And touch the hem of His Divinity. 

Morning and evening, passing, found him there. 
The midnight hours were spent in secret prayer. 
His days in penance, fasting, low he bowed 
Before the crucifix, for he had vowed 
His prayer unanswered, none should see the face 
Or listen to the words of Saint Ignace. 

Bright butterflies peered through the grated pane. 
The birds sang sweetly down the linden lane, 

And children touched the monastery bell 
Then started at its melancholy knell. 

But Saint Ignace oblivious was to earth. 

He counted all its joys of little worth, 

For higher things the heart within him pined, 

No mortal dreams disturbed his holy mind. 

And as he wept and his misdeeds confessed 
A benediction breathed within his breast. 

From the unseen, some spirit seemed to say, 

" Thy prayer is heard, thy wish fulfilled to-day." 

His gaunt eyes glowed with new, unnatural fire, 
High Heaven had deigned to grant the monk's desire. 
He rose, prepared the Eucharist with care 
Lest glorious guest should greet him unaware, 

Then hurried for the Pontiff's robes of State 
And thus attired sat down to watch and wait. 

There came a gentle tap upon the door, 

A child's voice broke the stillness heretofore, 

And pleaded to be fed and taken in. 

Her feet were cold, her clothing scant and thin. 

But Saint Ignace was busy with his beads 
He had no time for others or their needs. 

The heavenly vision would appear to him 
With early matins or the vespers dim. 

But, as the dreary hours dragged by, the place 
Grew more deserted, light forsook his face. 

The tapers lower burned, he was dismayed. 

Why was the vision thus so long delayed ? 


Unhappy monk, thou mayest pray for aye 
The answer to thy prayer was sent that day. 

It lingered long, then sobbed and turned away. 


E think the warld's turned upside doun, 

Y An’ scunner at yer ain auld toun. 

But gin ye tramp the country roun 
There's aye a something. 

There's ifs an’ buts when ane wad read, 
That sting like some ill-natured weed ; 
Gin ye escape, yer charmed indeed, 

That dreaded something. 

Ye strive an’ plan an’ lie awake. 

An’ think nae harm can overtake; 

Next morn' ye find oot yer mistake. 
There’s aye a something. 

Ye meditate an’ wonder why 
Ilk pot o ointment hes its fiy, 

If in the happy by an’ by 
There maun be something. 

i ^ / 

There’s aye a thorn wi’ every rose, 
An wee bit grits amang the brose ; 
An’ ne’er a chiel but sadly knows 
There’s aye a something. 

Say dinna fash yer heid, ye fool. 

But tak a seat in wisdom's school 
An' learn this guid auld-fashioned rule. 

There's aye a something. 

Be weel content wi' what ye hae, 

An' dinna look sae dour an' wae ; 

Dae whal ye like, gang whaur ye may. 
There's aye a something. 

HERE'S a sunny spot that draws me 
With a strange and subtle charm, 
Tis the birthplace of my kindred, 
The old log house on the farm. 

'Mid the hawthorn trees it nestles 
In a garden once so bright, 

'T was the tired teamster’s haven 
And the traveller 's delight. 

When the ancient, lumb'ring stage coach 
Failed its duty to fulfil 
All on board found food and shelter 
At the log house on the hill. 

Brave old log house, vainly striving 
With the best to hold its own. 
Brightened here and there with whitewash, 
Solitary, ivy-grown. 

Frowned upon by haughty rivals. 

Modern in their shape and size, 

Naught care they for reverend rafters. 
Sad, sweet memories, stifled sighs ; 
Wealth they know is fame and power. 

All else nowadays is nil, 

Ichabod is plainly written 
On the log house on the hill. 

The Log House 
on the HiU 

Clifton Grd)>e, 

on the Grand River 

In its day it was a mansion, 

T wo full stories, gables grand. 
Standing close beside the roadway, 
First and foremost in the land ; 
Proud of its well- hewn timbers 
It appeared to look with scorn 
On some other lowlier cabin 
In a clearance all forlorn ; 

For had not the ladies curtseyed 
Oft before its oaken sill. 

In the minuet so stately, 

At the log house on the hill ? 

Drear, deserted, all has vanished 
Save the river at its feet. 

Gone the happy, smiling faces 

Round the hearth that used to meet, 
For the little ones have mastered 
All the good, old-fashioned R s. 
Long they've been in life's fierce battle, 
Some are safe beyond the stars ; 
Sometimes they come back at even, 
in the gloaming, calm and still, 

Just to dream that they are children 
In the log house on the hill. 

They say people are progressing, 
Seems to me they're faster too ; 
Folks have so much education 
That they can’t tell what to do; 
They know more than their Creator 
About this world and the next. 
Over ologies and isms 

They are often sorely vexed;. 

But perchance they'd have a better 
Knowledge of the mysteries still 
If they’d stood the catechising 
In the log house on the hill. 

WAS a glorious night in August 
Just as bright as any noon; 

Shocks of wheat stood round like spectres. 
Starin’ at the big red moon. 

All the crickets were a- chirpin’; 

When a bullfrog cleared his throat 
Every froglet in the puddle 
Strove to strike a higher note ; 

Far away the hills seemed clambering 
Up to catch the moonbeams shy ; 

Pines like pinnacles were pointing 
To the star-lamps lit on high ; 

All around was still and silent, 

Not the buzzing of a bee. 

When 1 chanced to meet with Nancy 
By the yellow apple tree. 

Golden apples in her apron, 

Laughing eyes and dimpled face. 

And a smile that, like a sunbeam, 
Brightened up the grim old place; 

Just the sort of girl a fellow 
Wants to buckle to for life. 

If he loves a cozy corner 
And a tender, trustful wife. 

I was hired for the harvest. 

Doctor ordered change of air, 

Said 1 should work out a season 
In a country place somewhere, 

So I laid aside my ledgers. 

Took the train for Sunny lea — 
That was how 1 met with Nancy 
By the yellow apple tree. 

She has never been to college, 

But she knows a great sight more 
Than the educated maidens 
That one meets with by the score, 
For she reads the daily papers 
And the best and latest books ; 
Nature tells her lots of secrets 
In deep, shady, sheltered nooks. 

All the little children love her ; 

Their expectant hearts are gay 
When she seeks them in the corn-field, 
Or behind the heaps of hay. 

Can you wonder 1 got startin' 

For the cows right after tea, 

Or a-lingering in the moonlight 
By the yellow apple tree ? 

the Yelhfft) 
c/lpple Tree 

This all happened late last summer, 
And I'm back in town again ; 

1 won t say but what the partin’ 
Gave my heart a twinge of pain ; 
Somehow 1 ve got tired of tennis, 
Golf don't seem quite in it now. 
And 1 scarcely see the pretty 
Faces passing when 1 bow. 

I've no use for lofty ladies, 
Battenburg and furbelows, 

Girls who try to ape their brothers. 
Always hunting after beaux. 
Artless airs an fancy gingham’s 
Plenty good enough for me. 

Long as Nancy's waitin’ for me 
By the yellow apple tree. 

A wish, a thocht for ane an' a' 

On this giad Christmas day 
As gathered i' the ancestral ha' 

The near and far away 

Meet ance again in converse sweet, 
While everywhere the bells repeat 
A message frae the Mercy Seat. 

A wish, a thocht for ane an' a' 

When ye again maun sever 
May God’s guid haun’ protect ye a' 

An' keep ye safe forever. 

Aye lichtsome be yer lot an’ may 
The memory o' this happy day 
Shed gowden gleams across yer way.